Sheets of tissue paper.
Spring has sprung, and A is feeling like doing lots of flowery arts and crafts at the moment. She made this delightful picture by scrunching up circular sheets of tissue paper into small balls and gluing them onto a sheet of blue paper.
Gluing down the tissue paper balls.
Every time she scrunched up a piece of tissue paper, she said “Scrunching it up like I don’t want it any more.” And then she would stick it down using Clag glue. She even put a sun up in the corner to help the flowers grow. The stems, leaves and grass, she drew using green markers.
Paper weaving is a simple activity that kids love. It can be done with just two contrasting pieces of paper. A chose a sheet of purple paper for her base, and then some green, light blue and dark blue paper for her weaving strips.
The cut base, with the edge forming the frame.
I folded the sheet of purple paper in half (short ends together), and then cut in from the folded side, leaving a couple of centimetres at the end and edges to form a frame around the edge. Each cut was about two centimetres apart, but there’s no need to be exact.
Cutting a strip of paper.
A cut some strips of coloured paper to weave through the base sheet. She made some thin and some fat. I think having uneven strips makes the finished artwork more interesting than even strips.
A started weaving strips through the cuts of the base sheet. She practiced over, under, over, under… until her strip was all the way across the base. Once she had a strip weaved through, she pushed it up against the edge of the last one, and did another one. It was a little difficult to get the last strip in, as there wasn’t much space left, so I helped her finish it off.
Weaving paper strips.
A added a dab of glue under the end of each strip to hold it in place. The Clag glue made the colour in the paper run a little, so we could see where the glue was even once it had dried, so next time we will use a glue stick!
Putting on some glue.
Paper lanterns are a quick and easy craft activity, great for rainy days!
A cutting her paper.
The kids each picked out a sheet of coloured paper and folded it in half lengthways. They cut into the paper from the folded edge, parallel to the short side of the paper, until about 1cm from the non-folded edge. The cuts continued at roughly 1-2cm intervals down the length of the paper. Though A’s cuts were a little wobbly, she was very careful not to cut all the way through.
The cut paper.
Once the cutting was finished, they unfolded their sheets, and with the folded edge facing out, they curled one short edge around to join the opposite edge in a circle. We used sticky tape to secure the two edges together, but staples or glue would have also worked. The kids used some strips of paper in other colours as handles for their lanterns, attaching them with tape to the top.
A’s big lantern.
We had a packet of coloured squares too, which we used to make some mini-lanterns. L thought these little lanterns were very cute, and has hung some of them in her room.
Having the packet of little squares out led A to ask about making a flame for inside her lantern. She picked out some orange and yellow squares, and scrunched them together to form a flame. I helped her tape her flame into the base of her big lantern.
A’s lantern flame.
The flame inside the lantern.
Talk of flames led to talk of campfires, and next thing I know, L has made a fire from red, orange and yellow paper squares, and A has cut up a piece of black paper to form the sticks of a camp fire. A carefully arranged her sticks, and then placed the fire on top of them. She put her little puppy toys next to the campfire and pretended that they were having a little rest next to the warm fire. I love it when the kids have some spontaneous pretend play.
The puppies enjoying the warmth of the campfire.
It was raining this afternoon, and we were all feeling a little tired after school, so we picked a nice easy activity to do. We cut coloured paper into strips, and then used them to make worms.
L folding up a worm.
A made some just by folding a single strip of paper up like a concertina, and then adding eyes. L made hers using two strips of paper. She started by lining the ends up perpendicular to each other, and then taping the strips together in a right angle. Her first worm was blue and red, so she folded the blue over the red, then the red over the blue, and then the blue back over the red in the opposite direction, and so forth until she reached the end of the strips. It was a bit like plaiting the paper together to form a spring-like tube. She taped the ends together so that her worm didn’t unravel, and then she stuck on some eyes.
A two strip worm.
A’s concertina worm.
I love these eye stickers, they are so easy for the kids to use, and we don’t have to wait for any glue to dry. A likes the eyes that have eyelashes, because all her creations “are girls and need pretty eyelashes”. A had difficulty making worms using two strips of paper, so L made her a worm to add eyes to, which was very thoughtful.
The kids took their little worms off to bed with them tonight, and L even made her worms a special sleeping place on her desk where they would be warm and comfy.
I think most people have made paper chains for Christmas at some point during their childhoods. It is simple, fun, and they look very festive hanging up around the place. We had a scrap booking pad of Christmas papers, stickers and cut-outs from Lincraft, so we used some of the paper out of that to make the strips. I used a 30cm ruler to draw some lines on the back of the paper, so that the kids could cut along them to make the strips we would need. Each strip was the width of the ruler. L was quite good at cutting along these lines, A’s cutting was a bit more jagged, so she mostly left the cutting to L and I. Once we had our strips, I showed the kids how to loop them and secure the ends together. L used the stapler to join hers, and A used sticky tape, as she found the stapler a bit hard to close.
Cutting the strips.
Stapling the loops together.
They continued to loop new strips together to make long chains. We then hung them up along the top of one of our doorways with blu-tack. It’s the start of our Christmas decorating.